A few days at Whale Camp about 40 miles from the town of San Ignacio in Baja California Sur, Mexico, is a life-changing experience. Not because the cabin is so small, but because the location is one of the most peaceful and remote in the Baja.
It takes some fortitude to get to the lagoon. If you drive, there’s more than 20 miles of rough, sandy, washboard road that can turn your insides to jello before you even get to camp. If you fly, god bless you. The “international airport” is the size of a garage, although there is a windsock so you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (to quote Medal of Freedom recipient Bob Dylan).
We arrived at whale camp in a van with 13 passengers. Traveling from Loreto overland to San Ignacio takes about 4 hours including stops in Santa Rosalia to see the church built by Eiffel and find some local pastries and a bathroom. Then of course, you have to steel yourself as the driver maneuvers around “Devil’s ankle,” a hook in the ascending road that rounds a blind curve and a huge dropoff with no safety railing. Personal memorials, some looking like little churches, line that curve, so you know some folks didn’t make it. That part of the drive is short.
Then we drove past three volcanos, part of the Vizcaino Desert, and a series of mesas that look like a pastry chef had cut them off at the top like cakes.
The cabins where we sleep are so small that if you open the back door you can see the sun coming in through the front door (see photo). But so comfy! And there’s a wonderful community center where we eat our meals and some family pets (dogs) running around and playing retrieve the wet slimy ball from the lagoon.
All this and whales too. If you are lucky, you can pet a baby whale or its mother on one of the panga rides out into the lagoon with a guide who know exactly where the whales might be — everywhere!